To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to support charities and faith organisations who rely on donations from the public to pay for (a) charity work and (b) overheads of religious buildings, during the covid-19 outbreak.
Faith communities have a long history of service supporting many of the most vulnerable members of our society. The rapid response during the current pandemic has been no different. We value the work being done to support those in need.
We recognise that, like those in the private sector, charities and faith organisations are under significant strain as a result of COVID-19. Charities can access many of the support measures the Chancellor has announced for businesses, including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates on charity shops next year, and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80 per cent of their wages. Further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19
On 8 April the Chancellor outlined a £750 million package of support for frontline charities across the UK responding to the Covid-19 crisis. We are continuing to engage with cross government colleagues on the details of this funding package and more details will be released in the coming days.
We will continue to engage with the sector to maintain a complete picture of the impact of coronavirus to better understand how we can support them to respond to the pressures they may be facing.